BANBRIDGE Ladies Firsts played host to Owls Ladies on Saturday in a top of the table league clash.
With previous meeting between the sides being closely contested matches Banbridge set out to show why they have held the league top spot all season.
As the game got underway it was obvious that both sides were up for it. For the first five minutes there were constant battles through the midfield as both teams set out to set the pace.
After a period of Ban attack Owls lined up to take a hit out. A good press had been set up by the Ban forward line of Anna Moore, Amy Atkinson and Rachel Cairns.
As a result Owls had no choice than to try to hit through, however Amy Atkinson held her ground and managed to stop the hit out before feeding a quick pass through to Anna Moore whose reverse stick slap beat the keeper and hit the backboard.
It has become a habit for Bann Ladies to score goals in quick succession and Saturday was no different. Not long after Bann opened the scoring Rachel Cairns received the ball on the right side of the pitch. She drove forward before passing a 90 degree pass to the unmarked Amy Atkinson. Amy fired home a cheeky first time shot from the edge of the circle giving the home team a two goal lead.
Although Owls were down by two goals they never gave up, showing that they also possessed speed and skill. Going into the interval either team could have been going home with the valuable three points.
After the restart the game continued to flow from end to end. Owls broke confidently, however the Bann defence of Ash Bell, Amanda Morton, Orla Magee and Diane McMillen managed to make important tackles and clearances which prevented Owls from causing any damage. Claire McMullan in the Ban goal did well between the posts blocking any of Owls attempts at goal.
Many battles were being fought in the middle of the pitch but Gemma Todd, Sarah Quinn and Debbie Whitten worked hard to win frees and distribute to the forward runners.
As the game continued Ban maintained control with the team attacking and defending as one unit. Amy Gray and Abi Thompson made timely runs up front which caused problems for the Owls defence.
The game continued to flow until the final whistle. Banbridge had performed brilliantly to secure the win and the all important three points. Player of the match this week goes to Diane McMillen with many thanks going to Sheree Totten for umpiring and John Bell for helping out on the sideline.